Understanding Liver Health
Mar 16, 2023
With the exponentially growing population in the last centuries, diseases have also increased manifold. At one point, serious health ailments like smallpox, polio, and measles spread like wildfire. Though medical healthcare professionals tried to counter them with drugs like antibiotics, many of these infections were untreatable by general methods.
Thus, medical researchers invented vaccines. Vaccination or Immunization is a process to develop immunity in advance by injecting dead or weakened viruses and bacteria to combat any future exposure to harmful pathogens causing deadly diseases .
When deliberately injected with a dead/weakened (modified) micro- organisms, the body produces
antibodies without putting the vaccinated person at any risk. It checks the advances when
the recipient is exposed to the actual pathogens of that disease.
The process of vaccination or immunization dates back to at least the 15th century when people were intentionally exposed to the smallpox virus, a process also known as variolation. The immunization process is so prevalent that the governments and the World Health Organization (WHO) list the compulsory vaccines that need to be administered during childhood to safeguard newborns from those diseases.
Let’s have a look at the seven benefits of immunization:-
Save Children:- Some of the life-threatening diseases have been eliminated entirely from the face of the earth. One such example is polio. Dr Joanas Salk is credited with the invention of the polio vaccine. India, along with ten other countries in the South East Asian Region, was declared polio-free by the WHO (World Health Organization) in 2014. The disease was a major cause of paralysis throughout the world. However, with consistent efforts from both the government and WHO, India finally achieved its target of zero polio cases.
Thus, administering the polio vaccine saved a lot of children during the epidemic as the infection rate gradually decreased and became negligible.
Prevent Future Infections:- Vaccines are efficient in preventing future infections. Inoculating a vaccine might cause temporary discomfort at first but is always better than future pain and trauma caused by the actual disease. The recommended list of immunizations between the years of 0-6 includes safeguarding life-altering ailments such as Hepatitis B, polio, measles, mumps, etc. Though vaccines can cause pain,
tenderness, and redness at the injection site, they are the most efficient way of protecting individuals from future health complications.
Protect Others:- Immunization helps protect oneself from fatal diseases and prevents you from being a transmitter of infections. A lot of children who are considerably young or have a weakened immune system might not be administered a vaccine and are at higher risks of contracting those particular diseases.
Thus, the onus of protecting not only ourselves but also susceptible individuals lies on us. When many people have been inoculated with the vaccine, the disease is unlikely to spread from person to person. It is also known as herd immunity or community immunity. Hence, it is essential for us to take the recommended vaccine within an appropriate time. Saves Time and Money:- Parents can face heavy financial losses when their children contract a serious life-threatening disease. Days of mental turmoil, accompanied by wastage of time and monetary damage, can also take a toll on the family’s health.
Thus, as the old adage goes, “Prevention is better than cure”- one can save money and time by following the protocols laid down by healthcare professionals and securing their family against any possible impairment.
Protect Foetus:- Rubella infection in pregnant women may lead to fetal loss or defects. So vaccination against Rubella in girls may protect fetus during their pregnancy. Vaccination of children and pregnant women against detrimental diseases has been responsible for keeping the infection within control. Eradicate Deadly Outbreaks:- Vaccines have thwarted epidemics of various diseases such as measles, mumps and whooping cough. One can still recollect the smallpox epidemic that broke out in 1974 before being eradicated three years later. The outbreak affected nearly 15,000 people who died between January and May 1974, when the “Target Zero” program was started to eliminate the contagion entirely. Once the country was declared smallpox-free, India launched the National Immunization program called the Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) with the introduction of BCG, OPV, DPT, and typhoid-paratyphoid vaccines.
Decrease in Mortality Rate:- Vaccination is said to decrease mortality rates in communities. Timely administration of the COVID-19 vaccine accompanied by the booster shot also contributed to controlling the contagious disease. Most individuals who contracted the virus showed minor symptoms after vaccination instead of lethal clinical issues. Demand for oxygen and hospitalisation rate also reduced drastically after immunization, reducing the mortality rate.
Immunisation has been instrumental in controlling fatal ailments and preventing their
outbursts. The world is currently combating the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines,
after a lot of trials and testing, have been administered to individuals.
We have witnessed and survived unprecedented times during the past three years, and
scientists, along with medical professionals, are continuously breaking barriers to save
humankind from any future life-threatening infections